It has been a long time since I have blogged. Working and raising the kids has kept me pretty busy. Since my last post my husband has accepted his dream job which has him traveling all over the country, we have moved back to Michigan, and I have become a stay at home mom. We live in this big beautiful farmhouse in the middle of nothing. The only neighbors we have are this really nice couple who winter down south. Thus, I am here all week with no real adult contact since my husband is out of state every week. I am pretty sure you will begin to regularly see my rants. . . .
So here is where I am today, I fear that I may be lacking something deep within me that makes me a good parent or even a decent person. I mean, I know I am not a bad person or an evil person. I am not a psychopath, but I just fear there is something in 90% of other mothers out there that isn't in me. Why do I think this? Let me explain.
I see other mothers with their children. I see this loving bond between them. I see the child hug the mom. I see the mom lovingly look at their child. I wish I had that. Honestly, I feel like I am closer to the white trash family we all know (and we all have at least seen one in the store) where the kids are all filthy and fighting with each other and I seem to be the one keeping the 16 year old from trying to hug the 10 year old who doesn't want to be hugged, and trying to keep that 10 year old from kicking that 16 year old, while the 14 year old is yelling because someone is chewing gum too loud. . . . OK, I am sure you see where I am going with this (BTW - this situations have actually happened with my kids.) Sometimes I can get a good conversation out of the teenagers. Usually in the evening the twins will cuddle with me on the couch (while both fighting for my lap), but that is it for the loving relationship I have with my kids.
I hear other moms talk about their children. They talk about how amazing they are. They talk about what groups and sports they are in. They talk about their grades and how smart they are. I hear this pride in their voices about how amazing their children are - then there is me. My kids are total dumb asses. Don't get me wrong, they are smart kids, two of them are in the genius area for IQ, but they do stupid things sometimes. In fact, lately they do stupid things more often then they don't do stupid things. I get to brag that, "My 10 year old peed in a cup and drank it because she wondered what urine would taste like." My kids don't play sports. Gabe skateboards, he loves it, but to be honest he sucks at it (no, he will never read this). Evie loves the Cello but never practices it. I love my kids, I find them amazing, but more in a shake my head and wonder, "How did that come from my DNA?"
I hear of other moms making wonderful lunches for their kids. Making shaped cheese slices and bento box creations. Leaving stickies in their kids lunches. My kids - well I try to get them to make their own sandwiches the night before (and got yelled at by my mother because, "isn't that your job.") In the morning I toss in their juice box (at least I make sure it is 100% juice), little bag of chips, fruit, and sweet snack type thing. I put them on the counter for them to grab on their way out. Half the time I have to chase them out to the bus stop because they forget it on the way out. No special notes. No cute little designs for them to eat. It is food. By the time they got to school it would be messed up anyway. I love my kids, but I don't have this drive to do cutsie things for them.
I see other mom's who work full time and take care of four plus kids and have a smile on their face. Their kids are always clean, their homes are clean, healthy meals are on the table, finding time to exercise, and all while working full time. How? I can't. I just can't do it. I get tired. I mean, I get so tired I can't function or think. No matter how much coffee I drink I nod off while driving. I can't function like that. When I get that tired I get grumpy. I tell myself that my kids are "special" kids and take more time an attention than others, I mean two of them have forms of autism, right? I know the truth though, there has to be something missing in me to not be able to do these things - and do them joyfully.
There are times I don't like being around my kids. There, I said it. I love my kids, but there are times I don't like them. I don't want to listen to their petty fighting. I don't want to have to force them to shower or brush their teeth AGAIN for the thousandth time in a row. I don't like dealing with the "why can't I have my license yet" or "why can't I get a tatoo yet" or "Every other 4th grader has a cell phone, why can't we have one." I don't like having to take the diarrhea soaked underwear off my 10 year old for the 12th time that day, and re-wash the sheets, AGAIN. I love them. I know how lucky I am to have them, but there are times I don't want to be around them.
I don't enjoy housework. I like a clean house. I love a clean house. I CAN'T STAND a house that smells bad (if you come into my house and it stinks please tell me), but I don't enjoy housework. I see other women joyfully cleaning their homes. I don't get joy out of cleaning. I would rather go out and paint something, or cook something, or mow the law, or rake. . . do just about anything then clean. In fact, when I clean I am usually made madder. "How the heck did a child get poop there?" "Someone would have to work hard to get a sock hidden in that place." "A PLATE?!? IN THE BEDROOM?!? They know the rule of no food in any room with carpet!" So where as I like having a clean house, and I spend Thursday doing my deep cleaning every week, I just find it makes me angry because I live with slobs. My Grandmother would joyfully clean, she did it because she loved her family. I never once heard her yell at us for being slobs or even say anything about the mess we made, yet I just get angry. Why can't my love for my children override my anger over having to pick up their shoes, socks, bags, school work, laundry. . . every single day.
Finally, I get frustrated . . . . and I yell. . . I hate yelling. I really hate yelling. I never wanted to be that mom who yelled at her kids. But, after cleaning up the exact same mess over and over and over again, or asking the kids to put their clean clothing away (I fold the stuff, they are old enough to put it away) over and over and over and over again, and having them not do it I get frustrated and yell. Watching the 16 year old try to hug the 10 year old, who NEVER wants to be hugged by the 16 year old, and listening to her say "NO!" for the hundredth time I yell. I love my kids, I don't want to yell at my kids, but they make me so frustrated. Why can't they get along for at least 1 hour? Why does the 16 year old purposely do things he knows will piss of the three girls? Why can't they do their chore without being harped on to do it? Why can't they hang their book bags up on the hall tree when they get home from school? These kids know what we expect from them. Putting clothing away, doing dishes and hanging up their book bags are terribly hard chores. Yet they don't do them unless I harp at them. . . and that frustrates me. I NEVER remember my Grandmother yelling or getting frustrated with me. She always had loving patients. I see other mothers deal with these things with getting upset. . .
I wish more than anything I had in me what I see so many women have in them, what my Grandmother had in her. This sweet loving temperament that is joyful in everything they do, this beaming pride over the things their children accomplish, this boundless energy to get everything done plus knit a scarf, and the patience to never yell. In this journey of creating four adults who will go off and be productive members of society I wish I could show them more love, yet I feel like a drill sergeant.